Highland Park Distillery’s true dark origins can be found in its creation in 1798, in the northernmost reaches of Scotland on Orkney Island. In 2017, Highland Park revamped their image, with new designs and expressions. Unfortunately, this means the end of the Dark Origins expression, to be replaced with the Valkyrie in their lineup. Dark Origins can still be found on shelves; get a bottle while you can, for this was a delightful experience to be treasured.
To the bottle: Dark Origins is a no age statement bottling true to Highland Park standards, with a strong Sherry presence blended beautifully with the unique peated notes of Orkney Island. The deliberate references to Viking roots of the local populace do not disappoint here. While slow to start, the taste builds into a finish worth of its name. Enjoy.
SWC Group Review
Nose – Damp smoke, sweat, glue, cocoa, raisins, brown sugar, dusty spices.
Taste – Sweet sherry notes arrive with raisins, dates. Dark chocolate, grilled orange, burnt sugar, molasses, espresso.
Finish – Sweet and long. Smoky peat, pepper, chocolate orange, beautiful balance of sweet dark fruit with a hint of sour citrus.
Comments – The nose was boring and deceptively skunky, but calms down a little with time. It belies the truly amazing taste and finish; the marriage of sherried fruits and light peat is wonderful. We find ourselves conflicted, as the nose is a significant disappointment, but the overall taste and feel of this is much better than the Viking Honour. The nose deducted several points from our overall score, and leaves us recommending Viking Honour as the better (and cheaper) overall whiskey.
SWC Rating – 87 / 100
Today’s review and write up was submitted by member Ben G.
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